Ethiopia Wedding Traditions

African weddings are a spiritual and social family affair and involve the combining of two lives, two families and even two communities!From various cultures across the continent comes different wedding traditions with same values regarding  wedding traditions but different customs.

Marriage is sacred in Africa and beyond, because it solidifies relationship that enrich communities and nations by bring forth new life and new hope.African cultures celebrate the coming of the rains, the first harvest and the birth of a child. Marriage is that process which ushers in new life. But marriage is not a human right. Human rights don’t need licenses or certificates. Marriage is instead a privilege afforded by communities and religions, for those who meet the criteria

In Ethiopia wedding tradition are observed just like in the old days despite the modernization.The parents of the groom and bride often organize Christian marriages and they involve much negotiation. There are many such talks where parties do not come to a consensus regarding various issues. By the time the marriage takes place, the bride is expected to be a virgin according to their cultures and traditions. If the bride is not a virgin by the time she gets married, this will bring much shame to the family because the bride's virginity is considered to be of high value and pride in Christian marriage. It symbolizes purity and patience on the bride's part. In particular, rural women have a tendency to marry at a tender age in comparison to their husbands.

Keeping with the Ethiopia custom the bridegroom is supposed to wait until he attains the age of thirty for him to marry. This was done in accordance to the biblical example of Jesus where he begun his public ministry at the age of thirty. As per the tradition, the groom's parents take the responsibility of getting their son a bride. This is very different as compared to other cultures weddings traditions. To ensure that there is no chance of the families being related by blood, the groom's parents engage in an investigation before they contact the bride's parents. Once the investigations are through and there is no relationship, the parents of the groom proceed to make contact through a mediator with the prospective bride's parents. This mediator visits the potential bride's home and asks her parents if their daughter will marry the other parent's son.

Often, the bride's parents impose conditions and the mediator takes a message to the groom's parents to arrange a meeting at an allocation that is mutually convenient to both parties. If both parents reach a positive agreement, the man and woman are regarded engaged both the parents will take care of the wedding expenses and set the date too.The first time the bride and groom ever set eyes on one other is on the wedding day. Both sets of parents invite the guests and prepare drinks and food for them. The groom has to go take his future to be from her matrimonial home and on the wedding day the ceremony  will be full of song and dancing  the groom gets a dowry from the bride's parents normally in form, of cattle and money.

At the end of the ceremony  the groom takes the bride to his parents' house depending on the economic capabilities of the groom's parents' the honeymoon can last from one week to three months' at the groom's parent's house where the best men can accompany them. After this, they go to the brides' parent's house for a set time together with the best men.During their honeymoon, the bride can only go out after sunset, but not at daytime.